Since 2010 community members from Fellsmere led by organizers of the Farmworkers Association of Florida and with collaboration of the city of Fellsmere and Kellogg Foundation, have established a community garden in which they learn to grow organic vegetables for their own consumption. You can find more information in this recent article published in a local newspaper or by contacting the area office at (772)571-0081.
"The Farmworker Association is a member of La Via Campesina and participated in the recent meeting in Indonesia"
Movimiento Campesino Internacional / International Farmers Movement
Resolution on Migrant Rights at the 6th International Conference Working Group on Migrations and Climate
Jakarta, Indonesia, June 12, 2013
The new expressions of the capitalism through the promotion of the green economy and development is and will be unable to stop the consequences of climate crisis that exacerbate the migration crisis itself. The manifestations of climate chaos (prolonged droughts, floods, avalanches, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.), which each time become more frequent, have already been responsible for ¼ of the involuntary global migration, estimated at 210 million of people. The impending food and water crises as a direct result of the climate crisis, will in turn cause even more widespread community displacement and forced internal migration.
Immigration policy reform efforts in the U.S. and anywhere else, should repeal criminalization practices including border militarization, detentions, deportations etc., and include legalization and equal protection of all immigrants as well as address the future flows of migrants who have been displaced for whatever reason.
Repeal all Free Trade Agreements, especially those that have been impacting our common goods, rural communities and indigenous people. Implementation of Food Sovereignty to contest the control of the food system, land and resource grabs by national and international corporations.
Critical Amendments, including the Udall Amendment, bring greater fairness to the Farm Bill
Urgent! Need your support now!
With support from the Outreach and Technical Assistance Program of the USDA, the Farmworker Association of Florida, and its partners, the Rural Coalition, National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association and the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, have for over three years been conducting outreach and training to Latino, African American and other small farmers in Florida, and connecting farmers in the region to critical markets. Through our shared work, more and more Latino farmers are getting access to USDA programs, including disaster assistance, and together we have worked to start community gardens in the communities of Apopka, Pierson, Fellsmere and Homestead and to assure producers have the services that they need. (See below for what you can do now to help!)
During the past 6 months, our staff members in the state have reached out to more than 600 families and more and more are beginning to learn about the important training and services they need to enter agriculture as farmers and to support economic development and healthy food production in their communities.
We also know that veteran producers are an important constituency in the state, and that with the addition of veteran farmers to the historic outreach and assistance program for socially disadvantaged producers, funding needs to be increased, not cut in half, as it has been in the bill S. 954 as it now stands.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
CALL the Capitol Switchboard 202-224-3121 and ask for your Senators' offices.
WHEN YOU ARE CONNECTED TO THE OFFICE, ASK for the name and email of the Agriculture Legislative Assistant for your Senator and to speak to them. Please leave a message if they are not available.
TELL THEM: "I support and ask you to also support equity amendments to the Senate Farm Bill, including Senator Udall's (NM) amendments #1055 training for socially disadvantaged and Veteran Producers Training, Amendment #1045 Receipt for Service, #1048 community irrigation, and #1049 EQIP Irrigation Water Saving and others.
Tell them you are especially anxious that the Outreach and Assistance Program for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers, a critical program in our state, receive adequate funding of $17 M as in the Udall amendment #1055.
Thank them for their critical assistance in assuring the producers have a real chance to access all the resources in the Farm bill and the amendments listed help assure that can happen.
Fellsmere Community Farm Project, Fla: Edible Cactus & More
Fellsmere Community Farm Project helps low-income Florida farm workers eat better. Located in Indian River County, this four-year old cooperative with the City of Fellsmere has two sites that grow many types of vegetables including edible cactus.
FWAF is sharing this from our Sisters and Brothers at the United Farm Workers, as we are all working together for a comprehensive immigration reform that will give farmworkers in the U.S. a pathway to citizenship.
UFW News Release 5/21/13:
Bipartisan immigration reform bill passes in the Senate Judiciary Committee clearing the first major hurdle
Benefiting from a nationwide push for humane immigration laws by farm workers and their allies, the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved the immigration reform legislation officially known as the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744) by more than a 2-to-1 margin.
More information here
FARMWORKER ASSOCIATION OF FLORIDA
April 24, 2013
The Farmworker Association of Florida commends the introduction of the U.S. Senate immigration reform bill – the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. While we laud the bipartisan efforts on the bill and recognize this milestone in the fight for immigrants’ rights, we also stand firm in the position that comprehensive immigration reform efforts must take into account and include the following:
Family unity and reunification, and a moratorium on deportation of immigrants
An end to the harassment and racial profiling of immigrants
Observance of and respect for the human rights of immigrants
A pathway to citizenship and adjustment of legal status that is not overly burdensome, that does not require a return to one’s home country, that provides protections during the citizenship process, and that protects family members as well as applicants for citizenship
Workers’ rights of the farmworker labor force and other low-wage immigrant workers, including protection under all labor rights, and fair and equal rights for domestic and foreign workers
An guestworker program in which foreign agricultural guestworkers enjoy all the rights of domestic workers, including the right to immigrate to the U.S. with their families and the right to change employers once they are in this country
Recognition of the root causes of immigration and the impact of U.S. trade policies on the lives of poor people in other countries
The Farmworker Association of Florida recognizes that even the best immigration policy in the world does not address the underlying systemic problems of the current agricultural system that keeps farmworkers in conditions of poverty and vulnerability. While immigration reform is a first step to adjust the status of workers currently in this country, dignity and justice for farmworkers is an ongoing effort that will require the work of many and the national political will to address.
Immigrant farmworkers are among the most vulnerable and exploited workers in our society. Although they endure back-breaking work in extreme weather and chronic exposure to pesticides and dangerous working conditions to put food on our tables, all for deplorable wages, they are frequently the victims of discrimination, exploitation, and maltreatment. In current times of heightened and divisive anti-immigrant sentiment, immigrant farmworkers and other immigrant low-wage earners, regardless of immigration status, often live in fear of job loss, detention and deportation, and family separation. Afraid to speak out about the injustices they experience, immigrants bear abuses in their communities and in their workplaces as the cost of being undocumented in this country. Immigrant farmworkers provide the labor that supports Florida’s agricultural industry and that keeps food prices low. These workers and their families, who contribute significantly to American society and economy, deserve to live as equals, not lesser-thans, and to pursue their dreams of a better life. For this reason, the Farmworker Association of Florida continues to persist in the fight for immigrants’ rights and for fair and just comprehensive immigration reform.
4th Annual Woman to Woman Conference a Resounding Success!
View the embedded image gallery online at:
“This was the best year ever!” That is what we heard from many of the over 45 women from the local farmworker community that attended the Fourth Annual Woman to Woman Conference that was held in Apopka on Saturday, April 13 from noon to 6pm. Thanks to the amazing partnership between the Farmworker Association and the University of Central Florida Women’s Studies Department, especially Director Maria Santana, the conference was able to offer both a lunch and a full dinner to the women and children at the conference, as well as to give gift bags filled with personal care items to each of the participants.
This year, in addition to well-attended and engaging workshops on the topics of Women’s Health, Domestic Violence, Personal Finances, Parenting Skills and Immigration, the women heard the inspiring and empowering words of Keynote Speaker Marie José Francois of Community Health Centers, Inc. speaking on the power of women.
Great support from the Florida delegation in DC for today's HUGE immigration reform rally.
SWER, Dreamer's Moms, FWAF, Miami Workers Center and many other FLIC members and friends jumped on the bus yesterday at 2p.m.
Farmworker Association of Florida Sends Delegation to Washington DC
On the Agenda: Fair Immigration Reform for Farmworkers
Staff, leadership and community members of the Farmworker Association of Florida are in Washington DC this week to advocate for a Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill that is fair to farmworkers. Negotiations on CIR have stalled in the Senate largely over the issue of fair pay for farmworkers and details of an agreement over the H2A or 'guestworker' program. No immigration reform bill will be a truly equitable and just law if farmworkers are left out of a plan that treats them with fairness and justice! That is why FWAF sent carloads of farmworkers and community members to our nation's Capitol to speak with our elected officials in Congress and to let them hear farmworkers' stories face to face!
Over the weekend, women farmworkers from South Florida attended special sessions and Congressional visits to speak specifically on behalf of farmworker women across the U.S. Thanks to our staff and community members in Homestead and Florida City for representing women farmworkers in Florida for all of us!
Now is the time to make your voice heard! These are CRUCIAL DAYS in the decision making that can determine the future for hundreds of thousands and millions of farmworkers across the country. Don't wait to contact your Senators and Congressional representatives to show your support for an immigration bill that includes NO reduction in pay for farmworkers and NO guestworker program that diminishes protections for farmworkers already here and those recruited from other countries. SPEAK UP NOW!
And, THANK YOU!
Farm workers and their families to travel from Florida to our nation’s Capital to support immigration reform effort
Apopka, FL – More than 100 farm workers, students and families of undocumented immigrants are headed to Capitol Hill on April 7 to lobby members of Congress to support an immigration process that includes a path to citizenship for farm workers and the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S.
The delegation, including 15 farmworker members of the Farmworker Association of Florida, and comprised of farm workers, their sons and daughters and DACA recipients from around the county will be traveling from other states, including California, Washington, Oregon, New Jersey, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, Ohio and Minnesota to Washington, D.C. on April 7.
The tentative agenda for the delegation is as follows:
o April 7th – Members of the farmworker delegation arrive in D.C.
o April 8-9th– Legislative visits with members of Congress (House and Senate)
o April 10th– Joining "California Immigration Table" breakfast with over 200 Californian leaders and CA members of Congress
o April 10th– 3 pm–6pm: Alliance for Citizenship Rally at the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol
- Homestead campaign for Citizenship
- Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Immigration Reform
- Thanks for the 6th General Assembly
- General Assembly on March 17th